Select Page

We are all aware of the fact that there are differences in personality types, it’s very evident on a daily basis just from normal, every day interactions with other people.  But have you ever stopped to think just how much your own personality type influences the decisions you make and the actions you take?

During a recent guest lecture for my program at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, Gretchen Rubin discussed the different personality types and traits that are characteristic of each. I’m a big fan of Gretchen Rubin’s and have read (and highly recommend!) her books The Happiness Project and Happier At Home.  In Gretchen’s lecture she discussed the 4 personality types:

4 types

  • Upholders respond readily to outer and inner expectations
  • Questioners question all expectations; they’ll meet an expectation if they think it makes sense
  • Rebels resist all expectations, outer and inner alike
  • Obligers meet outer expectations, but struggle to meet expectations they impose on themselves (not a surprise to me that I fall under this category)

According to Gretchen Upholders wake up and think, “What’s on the schedule and the to-do list for today?” They’re very motivated by execution, getting things accomplished. They really don’t like making mistakes, getting blamed,  or failing to follow through (including doing so tothemselves).

Questioners wake up and think, “What needs to get done today?” They’re very motivated by seeing good reasons for a particular course of action. They really don’t like spending time and effort on activities they don’t agree with.

Rebels wake up and think, “What do I want to do today?” They’re very motivated by a sense of freedom, of self-determination. They really don’t like being told what to do.

Obligers wake up and think, “What must I do today?” They’re very motivated by accountability. They really don’t like being reprimanded or letting others down.

Understanding this is important, because if you want to motivate yourself (or someone else) to do something, it’s key to know how a person will consider and act upon that request or order.

I found it extremely interesting to learn that Obligers are often people who are the most likely to say they wish they were in a different category. Statements like, “I wish I weren’t a people-pleaser” or “I wish I could take time for myself” are things that you would hear an Obliger say. I learned from Gretchen’s lecture that being an Obligers is exactly why I find things easier to do if I join a group or club, or sign up for a class or lesson….all these things keep Obligers accountable to meet our own expectations.  I don’t know how many of you can relate to this, but if I don’t have accountability to keep up with something, the odds are pretty slim I’ll continue to do it.


So which personality type are you???  To help you figure out which category best describes yourself take a personality quiz that Gretchen developed –> here and then comment below what personality type you fit under! I’d love to hear if you agree or disagree with your “type”.  You can find more information on each of the personality types on Gretchen’s website (just scroll down near the end of the linked post and you’ll see that she has posted videos on each).  Did your personality type fit with how you view yourself?